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ED Quality News: 2007 National Patient Safety Goals 


The JCAHO has just released its 2007 National Patient Safety Goals. 


JCAHO National Patient Safety Goals

2007 Hospital/Critical Access Hospital

National Patient Safety Goals

Note:  Changes to the Goals and Requirements are indicated in bold.
Goal 1 Improve the accuracy of patient identification.
1A Use at least two patient identifiers when providing care, treatment or services.
Goal 2 Improve the effectiveness of communication among caregivers.
2A For verbal or telephone orders or for telephonic reporting of critical test results, verify the complete order or test result by having the person receiving the information record and "read-back" the complete order or test result.
2B Standardize a list of abbreviations, acronyms, symbols, and dose designations that are not to be used throughout the organization.
2C Measure, assess and, if appropriate, take action to improve the timeliness of reporting, and the timeliness of receipt by the responsible licensed caregiver, of critical test results and values.
2E Implement a standardized approach to “hand off” communications, including an opportunity to ask and respond to questions.
Goal 3 Improve the safety of using medications.
3B Standardize and limit the number of drug concentrations used by the organization.
3C Identify and, at a minimum, annually review a list of look-alike/sound-alike drugs used by the organization, and take action to prevent errors involving the interchange of these drugs.
3D Label all medications, medication containers (for example, syringes, medicine cups, basins), or other solutions on and off the sterile field.
Goal 7 Reduce the risk of health care-associated infections.
7A Comply with current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hand hygiene guidelines.
7B Manage as sentinel events all identified cases of unanticipated death or major permanent loss of function associated with a health care-associated infection.
Goal 8 Accurately and completely reconcile medications across the continuum of care.
8A There is a process for comparing the patient’s current medications with those ordered for the patient while under the care of the organization.
8B A complete list of the patient’s medications is communicated to the next provider of service when a patient is referred or transferred to another setting, service, practitioner or level of care within or outside the organization. The complete list of medications is also provided to the patient on discharge from the facility.
Goal 9 Reduce the risk of patient harm resulting from falls.
9B Implement a fall reduction program including an evaluation of the effectiveness of the program.
Goal 13 Encourage patients’ active involvement in their own care as a patient safety strategy.
13A Define and communicate the means for patients and their families to report concerns about safety and encourage them to do so.
Goal 15 The organization identifies safety risks inherent in its patient population.
15A The organization identifies patients at risk for suicide. [Applicable to psychiatric hospitals and patients being treated for emotional or behavioral disorders in general hospitals.]


All hospital emergency departments must address these new Patient Safety Goals:

Identify safety risks inherent in your patient population (restates two patient safety goals for 2006 as requirements under the new goal).

Develop a mechanism for patients and/or families to report safety concerns. SUGGESTED ACTION: Verbally communicate, room/waiting room signage, brochures, etc.

Improve medication safety by providing patients with a complete list of their (known) medications. SUGGESTED  ACTION: A routine search for drug interactions whenever meds are prescribed. Place on chart, give patient a copy.

Identify patients at risk for suicide. SUGGESTED ACTION: Make sure you have a good Policy for the patient's time in the ED and note "Suicide Precautions" on any inpatient orders written in the ED - for appropriate patients.


Link to JCAHO 2007 Patient Safety Page


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